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Nettle: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?

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NETTLE: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?

Anny Schneider is a Quebec herbalist. She has published a dossier on the nettle in the June 2010 issue of the magazine Vitality Quebec . With his permission, we reproduce it here in full.

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Portrait of nettle dioecious, the unloved unknown

Urtica dioica is?
Celebrity from a large family of about thirty varieties present in the world but most concentrated in Europe. Its native cousin is here nettle Canada Laportea canadensis . It was unfortunately little studied.

The term "dioic" means that there are separate male and female plants and plants that must obviously plants of each sex to ensure the long-term reproduction. By cons, its perennial roots may live a few years before running out and produce stump. In Quebec, stinging nettles naturalized, seeds probably mixed with cereal seeds by settlers or deliberately, by herbalists know his virtues.

Historical
The word "nettle" derives from the Latin urere , which means burning. English Nettel just needle : needle. In German, Brennessel means: hot needle.
Roman troops added to stews its fruiting canes for its nutritional benefits and whipped in the body to warm up during their campaigns in the Nordic countries. When they returned to their homes, they used it rubbed kidney in the abdomen to boost their virility and better satisfy their wives! The English herbalist John Gerard called it effective antidote against all kinds of blood poisoning.
Nettle has a magical aura and was used before battles to bless the sword and slay the demons personified by the enemy, but also to sharpen the sickles and attract abundant crops.
American Eclectic herbal tea against the recommended number of kidney and bladder, and pure juice against skin diseases.
Victor Hugo's Les Miserables wrote: "If only people knew its multiple uses: Young, nettle is an excellent nutritious vegetable, adult stems provide fibers that give a very resistant fabric. In animals, it is laying hens, making the most fertile cows and shines the hair of horses. Really, nettle offers a lot for the little she asks! ".

Most Western herbalists revere it and use it. Herbalists Guild even crowned plant of 2009!

Habitat
South of the St. Lawrence River in surviving colonies in soft soil and nitrogen-rich compost and manure near, outside the gardens, near the stables and good drainage ditches, obviously fleeced!

Description
Perennial high of 50 to 150 cm in the best conditions, provided a solid central rod made of long interwoven fibers. It has large dark green opposite leaves and serrated long petioles lined with tiny hairs translucent very sharp and stinging (!), Due to a combination of formic acid and ammonium carbonate. The female flowers are greenish yellow, in clusters, as its unique seeds, silvery green achenes, glued into dense set spikelets in the axils of the leaflets.

Chemistry
Formic acid and gallic, chlorophyll, flavonoids, vitamins A, B, C, calcium, iron, potassium, silicon, sulfur, boron, fibers, proteins and mucilage, acetylcholine, histamine and serotonin. Also, its content of antioxidants (ORAC) is higher than that of red pepper! In short, it is a wild plant fuller and nutritious that is, to accommodate gloves perhaps, but also to disseminate widely!

Precautions and precepts of picking nettles
Before harvesting nettles, dress in long sleeves and heavy gloves, pick only the terminal shoots and pruning shears; and especially in the wild, simply a rod out of ten, because the season is long and wild herbivores are also entitled to their share.
If the soil is very rich and the hot and humid summer, you might even get two or three crops, but like all food plants, the first flush is the most rich in active principles.
By cons, later in the summer, the mineral content increases significantly and fiber stems become woody.
Essential fatty acids are concentrated in the seeds of female plants and autumn, it is the roots that are pro-hormonal regulatory factors, hence their efficiency for the problems of the male reproductive system.
Against children itching rash, use plantain leaves or crushed patience or simply chewed by mom or grandma!

Multiple preparations ortisanales
Most of its active ingredients being water-soluble, it can be prepared in broth, decoction, jelly, tea or in tincture.

Cooked any number of ways ...
Its use in food is mainly reserved for all young spring shoots and very tender leaves, as already in June (in southern Quebec at least), it becomes irritating to the throat, even in simple past blender soup. During one of my very first spring workshops on food plants, there are more than 25 years, I remember being coughed in unison, me and the great leaders of the Eastern Townships who were there. Even the cream was not enough to buffer the pickups crystals that clung to the pharynx. In short, on the plate, you really have to be limited to very young terminal leaves, which can be pinched a bit like basil and stimulate regrowth.
Young shoots of nettle are also added to all kinds of boiled, stir-fries, casseroles and omelets, pancakes and muffins why not?
However, any time in the summer, we can make a decoction, or mixed with other vegetables (celeriac, turnip, leek), like the Chinese even in the morning, drink simply by alkalizing broth, enhanced by a pea miso added after cooking.

Although infused ...
A simple method is to take the freshly harvested plant, put in cold water equivalent of three to four leaves per cup, bring to a boil, cut the heat, cover and steep for five to ten minutes.
For sustained treatment, drink 3 to 4 cups a day between meals, sustained two to three weeks especially if chronic treatment. The leaves are picked, the part most commonly used in the usual way: before flowering sun after the dew has dried day. You spread it flat on a clean mesh in a well ventilated area, or the plant is suspended sparse clumps on a rope. If there are insects in the area, it is wise to place bouquets in brown paper bags, in addition it will collect dry leaves on drying. If the regular size can pluck for infusions throughout the summer and make provision for the long winter.

In tincture
Made with alcohol, a good dry white wine or cider vinegar (organic apple obviously), I recommend that best vinegar dissolves the minerals without radically degrading flavonoids. As soon as possible after picking leaflets on the ground in a mortar or blender and mixed with twice vinegar poured into a glass jar, cover with a plastic food (at any hardware store). Were stored away from light, it gently stirred the early days to prevent the plants oxidize and filtered after a month with a good fine strainer or cheesecloth easy to squeeze. We label and consumed in dribs and drabs at the rate of one drop per year of age in divided into two or three doses, single dose which is a good memo doses, for at least the nettle!

Fine powder
The main interest of the dust is that it acts quickly. Whether live on a minor dusting bleeding wound, she quickly stops the flow of blood. Added to clay as buffer, it is useful against poison ivy or impetigo for example. Disadvantage: loss of vitamins and flavonoids drying.

Capsules or tablets
Depending on the company and indications, nettle is sold in capsules, tablets or capsules, but only rarely most often combined in mixtures or anti-aphrodisiac is prostatitis. It is found in remineralizing complex, either for bones, hair loss or arthritic problems, kidney or skin.

Main therapeutic indications

Allergies, rhinitis
With its high mineral content, it made basic blood and lymph and, thanks to its clever combination of pro-neurotransmitters can modulate reactive hyper immunity.

Anemia
With its beautiful synergy of chlorophyll, iron and vitamin C, cure nettle, especially freshly picked, can help to raise the hemoglobin and serum iron same.

Run down
Often associated with low pressure and anemia, blood poverty often induces fatigue. Active nettle also the peripheral circulation, including the brain.

Eczema, psoriasis
Purifying the blood, it helps cleanse the lymph so that the blood by reducing the acidity while regulating inflammatory factors. Allied with safe as oat straw flower and red clover for example, it complements treatment of skin sanitizer.

Arthritis, gout, uremia
Diuretic, dissolving uric acid and other pathological calcifications, it thins body fluids and helps the kidneys to better fulfill their offices so decisive. It also facilitates the repair of fractures and helps bone growth, including in children.

Dandruff
Its high sulfur organic explains its contact action against hyperseborrhoea, micro-fungus scalp and dandruff.
Internally, it is used in infusion or decoction of the fresh herb cures. It can also be rubbed into the scalp morning to night, to strengthen health and stimulate hair regrowth.

Prostatitis
Recent German and Japanese research has proven that its root is particularly effective against prostatitis. It even inhibits PSA antibody, reduces frequent urination and more, it increases testosterone levels. By cons, do not combine nettle targeted chemotherapy of prostate cancer.

Other possible interactions
Nettle is recommended in conjunction with immunosuppressive treatments of anti-mitotic genre, cortisone and interferon-or it would inhibit the effects. There are very rare cases of allergy in hypersensitive formic acid and bee products.
Recommended in early pregnancy because of its effects possibly emmenagogues but recommended doses mini before the birth and during lactation.

Other uses

Durable fabric
The carded and woven nettle gives such strong fiber that was in uniform for several armies, such as Napoleon and Germans during World War II. For centuries, artisans dyed golden yellow turning to khaki, wool, linen and why not the stuff of nettle?

Chlorophyll
Rather than alfalfa used in North America, Europe, it is grown commercially for its chlorophyll found in various foods under the E 140 code.

Enriched feed
Once dried, it enriches the most summer in minerals and protein hay; it helps cattle like horses to keep your bones strong and healthy, shiny coat.

Nettle manure, the highest fertilizer
In organic farming, known and used for centuries the nettle manure. To make it, you make a maceration of one kilogram of fresh nettle ten liters of rainwater, stored nearly a week in the garden barrel before adding them to the ground around plants. This is a phyto-immunostimulant recognized especially beneficial in calcareous soils and leafy vegetables and roots. Moreover it is a fungicide and "prebiotic" natural for plants. Nettle is a perfect companion plant for aromatics such as oregano or thyme which increases the essential oil content lamiacées.

Only downside: the intense stench in the vicinity of fermented barrel.
In France, the great author and herbalist Bernard Bertrand, is the flagship of an advocacy campaign called the "War of the nettle." It became a symbol of the diverse agricultural tradition against the hegemony of the petrochemical agribusiness and bureaucratic blindness shortsighted. (See the below website)

Anecdote
In too many European wars, nettle was a survival food that has saved many children from anemia, as I was confirmed in his mouth, my own great aunt Louise was born in 1887 and had undergone three wars!
Moreover, it is written that Milarepa, the Tibetan ascetic wise it was a time that the only food, it was a phosphorescent green complexion!

A massive nettle, it is a little kingdom of biodiversity . Nettles hosts indeed more than a hundred insects , including butterflies fifty . Besides the birds and mammals , large or small.

Among the butterflies that are found on nettle, there is the Vulcan (red admiral in English), the peacock , the small turtle , the painted lady , the Robert the Devil and map for the day; the shell-marten , the peeling red and tortoiseshell mint for night. Their caterpillar feeding on nettle leaf exclusively or not.

Chenilles de paon du jour (Inachis io)

While most butterflies lay their eggs in groups on the undersides of leaves, like the peacock-of-date, the Vulcan, he lays a single egg at a time, but always on top of the leaves exposed to sunlight. The larva is wrapped in the sheet and devours from the inside, safe from predators. And predators, it is no lack birds, spiders, carnivorous bugs and the ichneumon , a kind of wasp that lays inside the caterpillar perforating his body with his cock. The larva of the ichneumon will then grow by gnawing the caterpillar from the inside.

Vulcain. Copyright Kurt Stueber, AllemagneReturning to Vulcan (Vanessa atalanta) is a lovable butterfly, and very special, that does nothing like the others. While other butterflies that frequent the nettle are mostly sedentary, the Vulcan, it is migratory , and is not afraid to cross the Mediterranean. We encounter the same in Australia and New Zealand, where he is not afraid to eat the leaves of Urtica ferox, whose bite is fatal to the large mammals! His cousin Admiral with white stripes was chosen by Quebec as entomological emblem of their province, perhaps because he's handsome and shy. link

Charançon de l'ortie (Phyllobius urticae) Copyright Kurt Stueber

Pucerons verts et fourmis sur une tige d'ortieStill found on the nettle moth (moth nettle, a type of mite), the moths , several kinds of weevils, the psyllids , the leafhoppers (kind of small cicada), the black and green aphids , the ants and ladybugs (always associated with aphids); not to mention the bugs and spiders already mentioned. All this makes a lot of people!

Moreover, the seeds of the nettle are highly sought after by birds : pheasants , partridges , bullfinches and redpoll , a beautiful passerine northern Europe. Quant'aux insectivorous birds, they consider nettle as a real pantry: chickadees , warblers and rousseroles attend nettles and are sometimes even build their nests.
The goose often lay their eggs in early spring. The goslings will then grow by eating the nutritious leaves around and be well hidden from predators when the nettles grow up, a few weeks later.

The hedgehog is also among the nettles for food, such as snails or slugs , which eat the leaves. And weasels can be found in nettles small rodents, such as voles , which eat the seeds or a rabbit on a spree since the weasel is not afraid to tackle much bigger than her. And if there are rodents, the fox is not far. Finally, large mammals seek refuge in nettles, there feeling safer to put down, as the doe or the deer .

Lapin réfugié dans les orties. Copyright Keven Law

Renard à l'affût dans les orties. Copyright monti2008
link

I do not think there is a plant on land that welcomes a diverse fauna that nettle. sure you will agree that if the nettle is the queen of weeds, it is also of biodiversity! It symbolizes life.

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